Uniquely Japanese-Sakoku

Featured image credit The final shogun family in Japan was the Tokugawa Shogunate, also called the Bakafu. Under the rule of the Tokugawa, Japan entered into a period of isolation, called the Sakoku Jidai, translating to time of national isolation or exclusion of foreigners. The policy was enacted between 1633-39 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, and relations…

Uniquely Japanese- Kintsugi 金継ぎ or Kintsukuroi 金繕い

One of my favourite uniquely Japanese words is Kintsugi. The first kanji (syllable) means gold, and the direct translation is “gold splicing”… when a piece of pottery gets broken, the Japanese fix it, not trying to make the repair invisible, but by making the repair gold, and very noticeable. The reasoning is that they believe…

Hibiki…..Echoes of Tokyo in Camberwell

When I looked up Hibiki in my Japanese translator the translation was sound, but more accurately echo or reverberation. I am not sure if that is what the owners of Hibiki in Melbourne were alluding to, but as soon as I read it, it resonated. Sitting in this little cafe in Toorak Rd in Camberwell,…

Japanese Pet Store Surprises

Last time we were in Kyoto, our friend Maki-san took us to a pet store. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was definitely not what we encountered. I was blown away, amazed with the cuteness, slightly disconcerted by the types of pets for sale and amused by some of the services available…. The…

Sake Matsuri…..Seriously Super Sake Fun

  So, Super Sake Boy was put in charge of writing this blog, but he has been dragging his feet and this event was too awesome not to write about. So, I, Nihonshu Girl, aka Blossomkitty, will attempt to do this event justice. My memory is somewhat faded and perhaps slightly hampered by the fifty-ish…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo….. Part 4

Our last full day in Tokyo we started by dropping Ewan in Akihabara. He was on a mission to find a figurine, and the rest of us were not keen for the noise and crazyness of Akiba. We continued on to Asakusa. Senso-Ji temple is amazing, and I wanted to show Harper. We started at…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo…… part 3

The only thing driving me out the door on our third day in Tokyo was coffee. We found a very cool little cafe, but sadly their coffee machine was broken. The owner, was however, making drip filter coffee, which is very popular in Japan. It takes an extrodinary amount of time to make, and is…

Five Crazy Days in Tokyo with Four Kids… part 2

Our second day in Tokyo was crazy busy and fun. We started out the day catching the train to Harajuku station. I love Harajuku. It is right next to Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine, the station is old and quaint, and the shopping is bonkers. Our first port of call was Takeshita Dori. This…

Thatched Rooves and Earthen Floors

Our last day in Takayama, we decided to visit the Hida Folk Village. We had toyed with the idea of visiting Shirakawa-go, a very picturesque and historical mountain village in the Northern Alps. However, there is no way to access the village without booking a formal tour, and it is a reasonable distance to travel….

Uniquely Japanese- Yugen 幽玄

Like many Japanese words for which there is no direct translation, yugen is dificult to translate. I just finished reading a very funny thread on reddit asking advice on kanji for a tattoo. The person wanted to tattoo yugen onto his shoulder. A respondent to the thread suggested that unless the person fully understood the…